Girlfriend Intervention TV Poster Image

Girlfriend Intervention

(i)

 

Makeovers push positive body image but utilize stereotypes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

It sends positive messages about feeling comfortable with your own body and how having attitude and confidence is beautiful. It also contains some sweeping generalizations about the African-American and white communities. 

Positive role models

The women are blunt, but their intentions are good and they mean to be constructive.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

There's lots of discussion about looking sexy. References such as "smoking hot" and comments about street walkers are audible. The appeal of "booty" to certain communities vs. others is discussed. The show also contains subtle innuendo such as "getting your groove on" with a romantic partner. 

Language

Words such as "hell" audible. References used to define the African-American community and the white community, such as "chocolate men" and "basic white women," are used.

Consumerism

Sometimes brands such as Ugg are discussed, but labels aren't prominently featured. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cocktails are consumed; wine and champagne are discussed. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Girlfriend Intervention is a makeover reality show that contains positive messages about having self-confidence and being comfortable with your body but that also relies on stereotypes about the African-American and white communities to highlight some of these points. The language is pretty mild ("hell"), but there is some innuendo and social drinking. Older tweens might be able to handle it, but it's really meant for older viewers. 

What's the story?

GIRLFRIEND INTERVENTION is an unscripted makeover series featuring four women determined to bring out what they believe is the loud black woman trapped inside every white girl. Reality show host Tanisha Thomas, stylist coach Tiffiny Dixon, hair and makeup stylist Tracy Balan, and renowned interior designer Nikki Chu work together to help white women regain the self-confidence they've lost over the years. The four African-American women stage a girlfriend intervention, during which they give their subject a wake-up call about how she looks and try to understand her insecurities. After experimenting with new outfits, making over her hair and makeup, and creating a space in her home that acts as her sanctuary, they hope she feels better by looking better and remind her that feeling confident is less about size and shape and all about attitude.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

From helping women find clothes that positively accentuate their body types to encouraging women to be honest about how they feel about themselves and why, the cast highlights how important it is for women of all shapes and sizes to be comfortable with their bodies despite the fact that mainstream fashion and culture usually celebrates unrealistic body types. They also underscore how necessary it is for women to take the time to take care of themselves, regardless of how hectic their lives are.

The cast makes stereotypical generalizations to celebrate a confident and positive self-image they believe African-American women have, and they emphasize how empowering this self-assurance can be for all women. The approach may be misguided, but ultimately, the show sends the universal message that no matter who you are, true beauty is about having self-confidence and not about your dress size.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about differences among various racial/ethnic communities. Different cultures have different standards of beauty. What are some of the benefits that come from sharing these differences? Is it appropriate for one group to impose its standards on the other? What messages does this show send about the different ways women from different cultures think about their bodies and body types?  

  • What are some of the stereotypes about African-American and white women displayed on this show? Do these generalizations fit with your own experience? Are stereotypes ever appropriate to use, even if they're meant to highlight differences between people or to be funny? 

TV details

Cast:Tanisha Thomas, Nikki Chu, Tiffiny Dixon
Network:Lifetime
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

This review of Girlfriend Intervention was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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